Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas goodness, Oakland style

I got a welcome phone call from my pal Matty Boy the other day, during which he informed me that there were some Christmas goodies coming my way. What a mensch he is: He told me he was giving gifts to those less fortunate than himself; sadly, I qualified.

Gift #1 was something I've wanted forever: the entire catalog of recordings of Matty Boy's and Padre Mickey's band The Wonders of Science! I'm completely bowled over by this tune, and the rest of the songs on the CD are just as good. Every time I listen, I feel like I'm back in college in my old dorm room, not-reading a bunch of literature for my English classes and wondering what it would be like to be an out lesbian. Sigh. Those were the days.

Gift #2 was something Matty Boy has been touting forever: a copy of the Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog DVD! I had planned to watch it tonight (I've never seen even a second of it), but I ended up spending hours creating a new logo and header for my birdy blog... in Microsoft Paint. Do you know how hard it is to create graphics in Paint? Like trying to perform calculus with Sarah Palin's brain, my friends. Just like that. Someday, I hope to have PhotoShop and Illustrator again... someday. (Did you know I was a graphic designer from 1997-2002?)
Now it's well past midnight, nigh on one in the a.m., and I've got to wake up at six. Shit.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Just what I've been hoping for

Please offer any "moodlifting messages" in comments.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

more Seen at Work

So many things, so little time....

There's something not quite right here... I just can't put my finger on it... something... Let's see: the good old traditional Candy J's are there, and the upside-down gay triangles are there... That's Christmas-y, right? What? What's wrong? What?
I would be happy to definitely use all the certainly wonderful ways we're supposed to gladly "please" our fabulous customers when we're on the phone; it's My Pleasure! So I just need to ask you some fantastic questions to verify your excellent identity...

Finally, I ask you:
What the hell?

Oh wait--of course! I forgot to orient it correctly--it's a vertical: Oh yeah!

Wait...

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Someone-dammit.

I'm in and out of consciousness right now, as I am on some painkillers for my tooth extraction earlier today, but I think I just heard President Obama say he's sending 30K more troops to Viet[Afghanistan]nam.

But then he's pulling everybody outta there in 2011.

Because that makes as much sense as the "surge" and Mission Accomplished.

Shit.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Seen at work


There must've been some kind of Starving Artists Art Show in the area when they purchased the art for my work building. Little wonder these artists were starving.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Seen at work

I've decided to start a new series here on the bloggy: "Seen at Work." The place where I work is filled with strange artwork, odd decorations, inane instructional postings, and other such noteworthy items, and I wouldn't want to be selfish and keep all these sights (and sounds) to myself. Besides, there's no one at my work who would appreciate these things like you would; everyone else just seems to ignore these things. I've decided that Texans, at least the San Antonio variety, are weird and not very observant.

I'm dying to hear your comments, if only to help me decide whether I'm the only one who thinks this shit is strange.

I'll kick the new series off with a double feature.

First, I present this item (rather a common one down here in San Antonio, I've noticed), found in the restrooms:I've seen these before from time to time in other cities in which I've lived, but it seems like every public restroom in San Antonio has these. Do they really protect you from anything, besides the knowledge that unless you use them, you're placing your bare buttocks on the exact same surface that lots of other people do? (If you think about that for even a second, you just might start carrying a box of these around with you.)

I keep wondering if they protect one from the errant herpes sore or something. Maybe I'm just being obtuse; any public health officials want to share? My mom always told us to lay triple thicknesses of TP on the seat before using a public toilet, but these things are really thin!

Now, OF COURSE I use them whenever I use the restroom, though I always rip the inner circle loose so I don't make splashy sounds.... You know what I'm talking about. But really--do they protect you from anything?

Next, in the "Art" category:I posted this horror on my birdy blog yesterday and so far, all the commenters have ignored it. I trust you guys will find the words that must've escaped my bird-loving pals. I call this one "My child has terrifying hallucinations, and sometimes he commits them to paper."

In the coming days, you'll see more photos of the "art" from my building; there must've been a sale at the local sanitarium or detox ward.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sick of swine flu


It's a bit late in the game to be bitching about the media furor over the H1N1 (or Hee-nee, as my mom calls it, as though the 1s are really Is) flu, but I've been out of blogulation for a while, and I saw something today that just stuck in my craw. Picture a giant electronic-lighted billboard flashing the following:

TOWN HALL MEETING: H1N1 VIRUS AND VACCINE INFORMATION!

Because that's what we need a town hall meeting on: the effing H1N1 virus. Yeah. Not any of those other things like that bid for the nuke facility here in town, the bid that's increased by millions of dollars lately, and that got a couple of board members canned for influence peddling. Not that. And not the fact that healthcare's in the toilet and Congress is screwing us over even more about it. Nope. Not even the dearth of jobs vs. the ridiculously high number of people applying for each and every one of them. Why's that important?

Nope, we're having a town hall meeting about that dumb flu vaccine. Even though regular flu viruses kill more people each year than H1N1. And even though the vaccine probably doesn't even work.

Sheesh.

I was at Tengrain's blog a little while ago and started laughing my ass off while watching A Flock of Seagulls' "Wishing," which I thought was an AMAZING song when I was in high school/early college. The lyrics are awful, but the music is okay; the video is probably in the same league as other 80s high-larious classics like Asia's "Heat of the Moment" and Scandal's "The Warrior."

While I was hunting down those gems on the yootoobs, I came across one of my all-time favorite songs, The Specials' "A Message to You, Rudy." Go forth and enjoy!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Hey folks!

I've now been in San Antonio for a month. I'm enjoying my temp job; it's interesting and the people are nice--not to mention the fact that it's nice to have an income again. Still looking for a real permanent job too.

I haven't had a whole lot of time to access all your blogs lately; I have to use my dad's computer for my online fun, and I can only get online after work--in between helping my mom cook dinner, giving Niblet some lovin', and talking to AB back in Pennsylvania. Oh, how I miss being able to blog at work!

So don't take my absence personally. I still love and miss you all, in case you were wondering.

I haven't been keeping up with the news either. I keep hearing about how the economy's improving and San Antonio's the third-most recession-proof job market in the country, but I'm still looking for mine. The dearth of posts will likely continue until I figure out where I'm going and how I'll get there.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hello, I'm alive, and I'm employed...

...at least temporarily!

Sorry for the long vacation away from the blog, but I've been trying to find work, focus on the birds, and learn how to live with my parents again after 27 years out of their house. Thank you all so much for your kind comments and for coming back to the old bloggy. I don't know how much I'll be doing on this blog; politics has just become incredibly frustrating and joy-sucking.

The cool thing is living with two hard-core democrats like my Mom and Pop. We now take turns yelling at the TV talking heads; it's so cool to hear them say a lot of what all of us have been saying all these years! Who knew there were still a few hardy dems in Texas, other than those Texans on my blogroll!?

I've been here about two weeks now. I've applied for a bunch of interesting jobs--marketing, sales, administrative assistant, etc.--but I finally got a hit when I went to (of all places) the same temp agency I registered with in California. I'll be working in a call center resolving something or other at a certain huge national/world banking center. It's outbound calls, but at least I won't be selling anything. And at least I'll be making some money for a while; it's a temp appointment that'll last until sometime before Thanksgiving.

Meanwhile, I'll keep plugging away, trying to get a "real" job, hoping someone likes my resume enough to give me a call.

Again, thanks so much for your support during my "migration" around the country.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Plans

And so it has come to this: if I can't get a job (or at least a promising interview) before the end of the month, I have to leave California.

It's not the ideal plan, I'll admit. Many people tell me that it often takes months to find work, especially out here in budget-wrecked California, but any fool could see that staying out here much longer is financially unwise. I've never been without work for so long at one stretch, at least not while trying to find work. It seems that things here in the Golden State are tougher than I imagined and while, as they say, "hindsight's 20/20," I am beginning to think that my desire for new lifebirds and greener pastures blinded me to just how easy I had it in PA and how long my savings (and loans) would last.

Yes, I was tired of the Pennsylvania snow.

And yes, I wanted to go someplace I'd always dreamed of living.

And oh sure, I felt like I didn't really "belong" in a state like Pennsylvania, where I was perhaps one of maybe ten hispanics in Centre County (I'm being generous; I only knew of me and my friend Ignacio) and where I'd only gone because of a now-defunct relationship.


AB keeps telling me that I can't look back now and judge my decisionmaking after it's turned out to be a total dud; if that were possible (or wise), no one would ever take a chance on anything. Or even get out of bed. But it's hard not to think about the fact that if I'd stayed, I'd still have a good job and I'd be with my girlfriend.

Must. Not. Think. About. That.


So where will I go, you ask? One of two places: Texas or Pennsylvania. BUT... the only way I can go back to PA is if I already have a job waiting for me.
...What, you think I didn't learn a lesson from this whole "Hey, I'm sure I'll find a job in a state where everyone's being laid off! Great idea!" fiasco?


I am furiously looking for work now through the same crap job-seeker engines (Monster, CareerBuilder, SnagAJob, etc.) that have failed to net me more than one interview out here in sunny NoCal. Don't think I've missed the irony of such a situation. At least The University has its own job Web site, though there's no telling the snail's pace at which The University might travel.
(Okay, okay, Mr. Unnecessary-capital-letter-policeman, I'm only capping "the university" out of respect! ...well, and a little karmic finger-crossing. Shhh.)

I know two weeks isn't a lot of time to find work anywhere, but this is the plan I worked out with my sainted father and brother, who are loaning me yet more money to pay the really late bills and buy food and stuff.

Yes, I'm 45 and still getting bailed out by my father. Perhaps I should run for president. I hear this kind of thing worked out great for the last guy.

I'm still trying to follow up on my California applications and apply for other positions, but at this point it's almost stupid to keep trying. I lost count after 60 of how many jobs I'd applied for, but I did get one interview (on my birthday, no less) that was going really well until they told me that although they loved my skills and experience, they didn't know when they'd be able to make an offer, much less hire me. Budget problems. Low sales. Downward trends. You get the picture. (I should've remembered that the last time I had a good birthday, I was in 9th grade and my dad was picking up all my little geeky friends and taking us to SkateLand for a big night of rollerskating to "Dancing Queen." It's like a curse, my birthday. Every stinkin' year.)

At any rate, AB is being really supportive, and we're both hoping that I can at least go back to PA and be with her. But again, I can't go there without a job, so I'll continue to hit the Interwebs super hard over the next week or so. This whole job-search is like a job in itself, a really boring one where I'm forced to write cover letter after cover letter, tailored to the specific job duties and my overwhelming ambition to work at Company X!, and fill out endless job-search-engine registration forms. I've gotten it down to a science, copying and pasting stuff into the blanks, but it's still mind-numbingly boring and soul-crushing.

The other night I couldn't sleep and decided to read a book I hadn't read before (those who know me know that I LOVE to re-read my favorite books, especially when I can't sleep). I noticed a book I'd gotten at a recent book sale, Barbara Ehrenreich's Bait and Switch, in which she "goes undercover" again, this time not as a minimum-wage worker (Nickel and Dimed) but as a middle-management-type white-collar jobseeker, applying for hundreds of jobs over the course of six months, paying for an image consultant, enduring life-coaching from several rather life-challenged individuals, attending endless "networking events," and ending up with nothing -- not even one interview.

Given my circumstances and my now quite fragile job-seeker self-esteem, reading this particular book might, just might!, have been a bad idea.

Table for Sisyphus, party of one! Table for Sisyphus!

I've really enjoyed California. It's beautiful, for one thing--you should check out the pics on my birdy blog--and I've gotten lots of new birds for my lifelist. (If you know what that is, you might be a geek.) The weather is lovely. But it's hard to enjoy the beauty when you know you have no job, no income, and not much hope.

- - - - - - -
On a lighter note, I'm excited to report that I'll be driving into Oakland on Sunday to visit Matty Boy. We're planning to bird at Lake Merritt and then go watch the Cowboys game. I'm totally pumped!

Eat your hearts out, bloggy gals!

Oh, I just thought of something: I haven't told him this bit of news yet, so if you're reading this post, Matty Boy, I'll give you more details on Sunday.

Meanwhile, if anyone knows of a job in the Rohnert Park area... anyone? anyone?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

"No matter how bad it gets, it can always get worse."

Those were some sage words of advice from my dad one time when things weren't looking so good for me. I'm sure he meant them in the most positive and encouraging way possible, but they always just made me sad.

So you know I'm not having much luck with the job search, thanks to that whiny post from earlier today, but Matty Boy just called (which did cheer me quite a bit) and after we'd discussed how much I LOVED Joss Whedon's Dollhouse, he gave me some bad news: Princess Sparkle Pony has stopped blogging.

I remember finding the Princess through a googles search for god-only-knows-what, probably something on Condi, and I just about burst my liver open, laughing. The Ex didn't much appreciate the Princess' wry humor, but I thought it was quite possibly the funniest thing I'd ever seen -- a whole blog devoted to that crazy Condi's hairdo and such. Brilliant.

I was then introduced to the hilariously smart comments of such future bloggy pals as Matty Boy, FranIAm, and KarenZipdrive, all giants in the field who've gone on to make their own great bloggy contributions. Even I started blogging, and not just about birds!

I could go on, but it's just too sad. Suffice it to say that Princess, you will be missed.

God, how I hate looking for a job

I've been out here in the Golden State for almost a month now, and I'm still looking for a job. The longest it's ever taken me to find a job in my whole life (and I've had lots!) is two weeks, but we're coming on a month here.

I still say California is beautiful. I've enjoyed seeing new birds and new places, drinking new wines and decent tapwater. But this endless job-searching is making me hate life.

I started out applying to editorial positions -- there were a few, actually! -- then I went to the administrative assistant jobs. Now I'm filling out apps to be a assistant manager at "THE HUT" (Pizza Hut, for all us non-hip people) and completing questionnaires with questions like "When I go into a restaurant, right away I begin thinking about ways they could do things better." Fortunately, I could answer "DEFINITELY" on that one, as it's rare that a restaurant doesn't piss me off in some way. When asked about why I like coffee (on the Starbuck's app), I talked about how it brings people together and you can learn about it, like wines, only without the big wine price tag. I also added that even people who don't drink coffee know why others do. (I just left it at that -- mysterious, no?)

I'm exhausted by all this filling out of online apps and paper apps and stuff. And nary a word from any of the places yet. AB told me that most places work on a different time scale than I do; they take a couple of weeks or whatever, and then they get around to calling for interviews. But I'm broke, people! Hurry up! I can do your job, trust me!

So that's what's going on in my real life. In my birdy life, I'm having a blast. My life list is up to 212, and I've got all sorts of great pictures and stuff. The other day, I even went to one of those "gravity hill" type places near here and I swear to you, it looked like the car was rolling UP the hill backwards! So that's all cool.

What's not cool is paying $212 to register my vehicle. TWO HUNDRED TWELVE DOLLARS? I asked the DMV lady if that was for the lifetime of the car, but she said no, it's every year. In Texas, it was like 60 bucks. PA, about the same. What the hell is it about this place? How can the state be broke if they're charging each of the kabillion cars out here 212 bucks each year? That's messed up, man.

I'm trying to figure out how I'll know when/if it's time to just pack it in and go back to PA or something. I mean, what's the cut-off? I could borrow more money, though I don't want to. But I don't want to give up and start driving back, only to get a bunch of callbacks for interviews when I'm hitting Nebraska or someplace. But what's the cut-off?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

a random thought

I once heard, "the rulers are not of the ruled." Truer words were never spoken; this truism explains so much about why our government is screwing us daily.

But today I started to wonder: just where DO the rulers come from? Old-money families? If that were true, Tom "Hot Tub Tom" DeLay wouldn't have had to make a living killing bugs. Power cabals? Please--like Darling Lindsey was ever part of anything powered besides a Folsom Street Fair Fucking Machine. (and no, I'm not inserting links--my Mac is old and I have to type out the HTML, and I'm too lazy and tired to do that right now)

So just where DO these sorry excuses for people come from? Ted Kennedy came from a rich powerful family, but he NEVER abandoned his liberal leanings or turned his back on the poor and powerless who believed in him. So where did these republicans come from?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Gone to Texas, baby

Photo credit, even though I believe it's real and not an urban myth!

...for my sister's wedding. Be back next Wednesday!

(I tried to find a YouSeriesofTubes version of the Texas classic "Gone to Texas, Baby" by Terry Allen, but I couldn't. Sorry!)

Note: Crossposted at the birdy blog.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

East meets West at the East West

Well, Matty Boy and Karlacita! had lovely lunch today at Santa Rosa's kick-ass East West Restaurant. I had the Falafel Wrap which was HUGE, Karlacita! had the Falafel Plate, and Matty Boy split some Pumpkin Soup with his sis and ate a Denver Omelette. A great time was had by all, and we have pictures to prove it!

Note the lack of a picture with Matty Boy and me in it; I was temporarily sillified and just forgot. The poses were based on the "Grecian urns" routine in one of my favorite musicals (and obviously one of Karlacita!'s as well because the poses were her idea), The Music Man.

Special bonuses: intelligent conversation! scary squash that's like a foot and a half long and tomatoes from Karlacita!'s garden! The first season of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse, on loan from Matty Boy! Pretty cool!

Matty's done his own post, complete with a picture of me and him tagethah, bruthah, and much better text!

P.S.--got carried away with all the !!! -- thanks, Karlacita!.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Breaking Texan news!

Along with such big names as Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina the Teenage Witch), Macy Gray (that singer with the raspy voice), Kathy Ireland (model), Ashley Hamilton (multi-untalented Shannon Doherty cast-off), Donny Osmond (professional has-been), and Michael Irvin (Super Bowl-winning former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver and cokehead-turned-preacher/lecturer), former effing Speaker of the effing House Tom DeLay (crook) will be tripping the lights fantastic on ABC's Dancing with the Stars.

So to all of you who thought his career was washed up after all those inconvenient little legal troubles and stuff: look who's laughing now!

Today, Dancing with the Stars; tomorrow, the world! Dignity, people! Dignity!

Blogger Meet-up preview!

Tomorrow, I'm meeting the expert 'splainer of all things, Matty Boy of Lotsa 'Splainin' to Do, AND his sister, hilarious commenter Karlacita! in Santa Rosa! We'll be lunching at the East West Restaurant, which looks like a lovely place.

Pics and dish tomorrow after the meet-up!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Overwhelmed

driving over the Golden Gate Bridge yesterday

I've been too overwhelmed by this "moving to California" thing to even catch up on my politics, but I will say that, as Princess SparklePony's latest posts prove, there is no longer any such thing as sensible discourse or political debate in this country. If I hear one more goddamned word about "death panels" or "Palin plots divorce" or "freak takes gun to Obama healthcare town meeting and can't fucking figure out why the cops went nuts on his ass," I'm just going to tune out all together.

Come to my other blog and look at some pretty pictures. We just spent two days in San Francisco, and boy howdy--it was nice to see so many different characters and assorted kooks in one place. Toto, we're not in Central PA anymore.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cross-postin' fer jesus**

Check out the latest California news at my other other blog.

**- I know the title makes no sense. It just sounded funny.

What scares me today

1. Google Voice. I heard about this yesterday, where you can get one phone number (assigned to you by Google) and route all your other phone numbers (cell, home, work, etc.) to that one Google number. Does anyone else think such a plan will make it just that much easier for the government (or anyone, for that matter) to monitor ALL our communications?

2. That the Right-Wing Media actually thinks Michael Steele can substantively and effectively "rip" anything, other than maybe a big fart. For the more realistic version of events, see Princess Sparkle Pony's report on the situation.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

One giant leap

"Earthrise," taken July 20, 1969, from the Apollo 11 Command Module

Forty years ago today, Apollo 11 left Earth and began its journey to the moon. As a kid, I remember lying on the tile floor of our living room, sick as a dog from Montezuma's revenge after our yearly summer trip to my mother's mother's home in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. The floor was cool, and my mom had placed a box fan on the floor to blow air on me. I had a fever and was throwing up everything I ate, but there was no way I was gonna miss that moon shot.

The biggest thing I took away from the Apollo moon landings, especially that first one, was the idea that we could do incredible things if we put our minds to it. The dreams of my generation involved the dreams of the entire planet, rapt with attention, watching that rocket take off and then, awestruck, watching Neil and Buzz walk on the moon. The entire planet! How many times has the entire planet watched the same thing and been so affected, so united? Sure, the Olympics often captivate the world--but those athletes, while they're doing things no regular person could do, aren't braving space and landing on the moon. And countries remain insular during the Olympics, with each nation's people rooting only for their own men and women.

Apollo and the moon landing united all people as one nation--we were all earthlings, not Americans or Russians or Germans or Australians.

Noble people and noble causes, inspiring us all. Do we have anything like that now? When the world comes together, what do they watch? What brings them together? American Idol? Some YouTube video? A sporting event? Perhaps the closest thing is the first few days after 9/11, but we had to experience such tragedy to know that kind of global closeness.

I feel sorry for those who didn't get to experience the moon landing, as well as the other moon missions, first-hand. I think kids today are incapable of imagining a world united for one purpose. They're incapable of imagining that we, puny humans that we are, can accomplish something so huge and so important and so difficult. Kids today are used to daily but somewhat meaningless and empty accomplishments -- cellphones that can take pictures and videos, or iPhones that can wipe your ass for you, or computers so fast you don't even have to wait more than a second for anything to open. Technological progress has become commonplace to them; they're impressed by the latest video game only for as long as it takes them to find another gadget to be impressed by.

The moon landings, on the other hand, impressed a generation of us in a way that is truly lasting. I will always feel that surge of joy and pride and accomplishment, as well as the resulting desire to know more: more about us, more about our universe, more about what we can do. When I see anything related to space, that feeling comes back to me just as strongly as it did back then, as I lay there on the floor, feeling sweaty and feverish but more excited and awe-struck than I had ever been or would ever be in my life. My life, all our lives, were changed forever.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I can't even listen to NPR anymore

In yet another instance of stupidity and bias, NPR pissed me off again (daily occurrence!) this morning.

At 8:30am (Eastern), some guy (can't remember the reporter's name) reported on the Sotomayor hearing yesterday, and he comes right out swinging the idiot-bat:
"So far, she's remained unflappable."

He could've said, "she's remained composed in the face of fucking ridiculous questions about nun-chucks and the like." But no -- he says she's remained unflappable, as if that's some kind of surprise. I guess we should all be surprised when a 'Rican doesn't pull a knife or start shouting obscenities in Spanish. You know how hot-blooded and volatile all we hispanics are.

Then he goes on to say, in his "she's doing well so far!" piece, that she "sounded like a Bush nominee" when she said that judges should be "strict interpreters of the Constitution."

Since when does a judge who declares this to be his/her philosophy automatically sound like a Bush nominee instead of just a judge who's doing his/her job? I guess since the Rovian machine started using that bullshit phrase along with the equally bullshit "activist judges."

Isn't every judge an interpreter of the Constitution, "strict" or otherwise? I mean, either you use the Constitution as your basis or you don't. And if you don't, you don't gain the kind of sterling record that Sotomayor has. And we all know that unless you're a "strict interpreter," you're pretty much an activist judge, and you're going to force women to have abortions while burning a flag and writing a check out to Osama bin Laden (remember him?). Oh, and you hate freedom and America.

I had to change the station at that point.

You know, in a small town like State College, there isn't really much variety on the radio. We have classic rock, oldies, that hip-hop/dance/top-40 crap, and that's about it. I try to remember the old days when NPR was actually a good news source, and I tune to 91.5 FM, and every freakin' day they disappoint.

I'll conclude by encouraging you to check out NPR Check (see my sidebar for the link). There's always an open thread, so you too can talk about the latest stupidity you've heard on NPR. I mentioned the topic of this post in a comment on the latest thread, but I was so angry that I had to post about it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"If the president does it, it's not illegal"

This morning on NPR, I heard Steve Innskeep interviewing a man from Iran about the many people who've been taken prisoner by the Iranian government since the election. The interviewee named several people, most of them friends of his (I'm sorry, but I was driving and couldn't write the names down--and they won't post today's stories online until later today--I'll link then).

The notable part of the interview, at least to me, occurred when the interviewee revealed that at least one of these prisoners is now reportedly being tortured. He said that "last time," two years ago, the Republican Guard would arrest people but they would just hold them. This time, "it's different," he said--he's heard that at least one prisoner he knows is being beaten and tortured.

"What's changed between last time and this time?" Steve Innskeep didn't ask.

"Last time," the interviewee didn't reply, "the Iranian government and the Republican Guard didn't have as justification the fact that the US tortures all the time. Now they know the US tortures, so why can't the Iranians?"

Innskeep then didn't say, "Oh, of course--if the most powerful and supposedly upright and law-abiding nation in the world can torture prisoners on a regular basis, then other nations whose governments might've been afraid to anger the UN and defy international laws before can now torture just like the US, with impunity."

"Exactly," the interviewee didn't conclude.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Let the boycott of the right-wing media begin!

Crest Whitestrips ...... Delphi ...... Mercedes Benz ...... Comcast
Subaru ...... GMC Suv's ...... Best Buy ...... Travelocity
Capzasin ...... New Phase ...... Orbitz ...... Ditech.com
eloan.com ...... Dawn ...... Toyota ...... Centrum
Nextel ...... Vehix.com ...... Gold Bond ...... Aspercreme
webmd.com ...... American Express ...... Holiday Inn Express
M Professional ...... priceline.com


All these products/companies are ad sponsors of Faux Nooz. Please join me in boycotting them. This list will remain up top as a reminder. And every chance you get to mention the media, call them the "right-wing media." The "liberal media" is simply a lie.

Compare and contrast

This morning, there are two items of note I'd like us to examine.

The first: The number of American children in poverty is going up. Again.

18 percent of all children 17 and under were living in poverty in 2007 -- up from 17 percent in 2006. The percentage of children who had at least one parent working full time was 77 percent in 2007 -- down from 78 percent in 2006. And those living in households with extremely low "food security" -- where parents described children as being hungry or having skipped a meal or gone without eating for an entire day -- increased from 0.6 percent in 2006 to 0.9 percent in 2007, the report said. my emphasis]
Yup, this certainly is the land of plenty, the richest country in the world. It disgusts me that while this goes on, banks and Wall Street billionaires are still crying and bitching for more government bailout money. Our government's priorities have gone completely to hell, all with the help of both repuglicans and democrats. We have a shitty education system, hungry children, and people out of work. Colleges turning away students. But AIG's lining up some more bonuses for their thieving execs.

This goatfuck of a situation leads me to provide the following for contrast:

Dick Cheney's net worth "estimated to be between $30 million and $100 million, is largely derived from his post as CEO of Halliburton from 1995 till 2000." Amazing how someone can work for a company for only five years, yet make between 30 and 100 MILLION dollars doing it. All this for a man who, it's finally being revealed, withheld information from Congress regarding the CIA's torture tactics and other "counterterrorism" efforts.

Maybe NOW there will be some accounting for the war crimes of the Bush Administration. Maybe NOW, after they've seemingly gotten away with it all, Chimpy and Darth Cheney will finally stop their smirking and their hiding.

I won't hold my breath.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Like shooting fish in a barrel

"Summertime, and the livin' is easy.
Fish are jumpin', and the cotton is high."
--George Gershwin

It's too damned easy to make fun of the repugs these days. It's like the shit writes itself. The Sanfords, the Palins, and the other various assorted freaks and bigmouths on the right just seem to spend their time handing out the loaded guns, putting on their blindfolds, and shouting, "Fire!" all the time. It's hilarious.

I guess that's why I haven't posted much. I am still reading a lot of your blogs, though, and you're all doing some great work.

Meanwhile, I'm steadily paring down my possessions and packing the necessities for the big move. Time is moving faster now, thank goodness, and I just can't wait to leave this burg. I'll miss my girlfriend more than I can say, but I'll be happy to see this place in my rearview mirror.

Enjoy your summer--weather here is fantastic, for a change. Sunshine and cool breezes, as opposed to the usual rain.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

War update -- still going!

Even as we're pulling out of one debacle, we're ratcheting up in another.

This latest Afghanistan operation is getting as much press as Michael Jackson's death. It makes me think that if the Normandy invasion were happening tomorrow, our guys would get blown out of the water before they even landed because the Nazis would've heard all about the coming invasion on NPR.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Happy Canada Day!

For all you Canucks out there, here are few things you can use for your Canada Day celebrations:

mail a letter with this stamp:


watch out for this guy:

have a few of these:
do whatever it is you do with those maple leaves:

drive a red Barchetta in the limelight with Tom Sawyer and this guy:

don't get lost in Quebec:

fly with these guys:

and take off, hoser!

Friday, June 26, 2009

R.I.P, Michael Jackson--Questions edition

How does this happen?


How does one make millions over a career, but still be $400 million in debt?


What was your favorite Michael song, either with the Jackson 5 or solo?



Do you think his cause of death will be ruled as "natural causes" or one of those "accidental overdoses" that seems to happen so often with celebs?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Infidelity vs. criminality

So yet another repug has been outed as a mere human being with sex on his mind.

Seems a lot of these "family values" spouters sure do like to screw around, either with the ladies or the pages in their office or whatever.

But I couldn't help but think, as I listened to Sanford's press confo cuts on NPR yesterday afternoon, that I really didn't give a shit about his apologies or his tears or his sexy funtimes with Maria in Argentina. I didn't even give a shit that he lied about his whereabouts and told people he was hiking. Let's face it: Cheaters ALWAYS lie about it; if you were a cheater, you'd lie too. It's human nature to want to stay out of trouble. Like when I was a kid, and I blamed everything on my big brother. Sometimes my guilt over having taken apart Mommy's alarm clock, or having left the iron on the arm of the couch and burned a big brown iron-shape into the upholstery, or going to the video arcade instead of going to mass--well, my guilt was so strong that sometimes that all Mommy had to say was "Delia?" before I'd spit out a lie: "I didn't do it! Maybe it was Ricardo!" It was like a knee-jerk reflex, impossible for my little guilty mind to control.

But this stuff? This affair crap? Just like I didn't give a shit about Bill and his sexy cigartimes with Monica Lewinsky, I don't give a shit about Mr Perfect and his Argentina mistress.

Oh, it's hilarious enough to hear about another picture-perfect repug proving that he's just another slimeball cheating on his wife; I mean, that's always good comedy. But did I want to listen to him apologizing to all the people he'd "failed" and "disappointed" and all that? Did I want to hear about his crying back in Argentina and his crying here? Do I want to hear all the blowhards on TV crying about how betrayed they feel?

Nope.

It all just seemed maudlin and forced. It was a big drama show, staged for the media, just because he's a political figure. If he weren't the governor, no one outside his family and maybe his church community would care about whether he was hiking a trail or lying and cheating. I don't care to hear Fat-Tush Limpdick or anyone pontificate on this guy's lack of moral fiber, betrayal of the people, blah blah blah.

What I DO care about is this: this is the same guy who's been a poster boy for the "family values" reich-wing wacko contingent. Back in the 1990s, he was calling for Clinton's resignation after the Lewinsky crap. He's been playing Mr. Family Man with his perfect little white family, posing for all the photos and positioning himself as a presidential contender. If it weren't for this hypocrisy, I would give him a pass, just like I gave Bill. Anyone can make a mistake.

But Mr. Perfect is, in actuality, Mr. Thieving Scumbag. Using state funds to get to Argentina for his sexy fun time--THAT I care about.

And for THAT, and that alone, the guy should resign. And he should go to jail. That's theft, asshole. There's no criminal charge for fucking another woman besides your wife, so I don't care about that--but there sure is a law for using the state's money to do it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Some new ways to deny global warming

More of that pesky "truth" crap was released about how badly we're fucking up the planet with our CO2 and pollution. To this I say, "Truth, Schmuth!" Here are some handy ways to continue to deny this whole "reality" trip:

1. Mother Earth is going through menopause; hence, the hot flashes.
2. Did anyone ever think that the sun, NOT the earth, just might be getting hotter?
3. Science is for geeks and pussies.

You can thank me later, from your oceanside home in Kansas.

Friday, June 12, 2009

If you haven't seen this site...

...you should.


What my text would say:
Is there anyone in the world who doesn't know what "the coffee just kicked in" means?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Yay, a non-political post!

Sometimes I just have to completely tune out the politics and the news and the idiocy. That's when I do a movie post.

About a million years ago, Dr. Monkey did a list of what he considered to be the best movies made each year since he’d been born. It was a great list, and I decided (and commented) that I would do a similar post for myself. And hey! It’s only taken me a whole freakin’ year to compile the list!

Here are my favorite movies, by year, for every year since the year I was born. Just to bore you to death, I've added the other movies made that year that were also good ones in my opinion.

Oh and one more thing -- I didn't italicize any of the titles because I'm too lazy. Fuck the italics! Anarchy! Anarchy!

Ahem.

Sorry. Here's the list:

1964: My Fair Lady – I didn’t know until a few years ago that the role of Eliza had been originated on Broadway by Julie Andrews, whom I love love love. I knew Audrey Hepburn wasn’t singing right from the beginning, though. I still love this movie, however, especially when Mrs. Higgins chastises her son Henry and Colonel Pickering for being “a pretty pair of babies playing with your live doll.” Excellent. Finalists: Ensign Pulver, Father Goose, Goldfinger, Fistful of Dollars, The Three Lives of Thomasina -- all childhood favorites.

1965: This one was easy – Dr. Zhivago, hands down. Sorry to The Sound of Music and Julie Andrews. (Love you!)

1966: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – I loves me some Clint Eastwood, and this is a great one. “Hey Blondie! Hey Blondie!” Finalists: The Blue Max, Batman, A Man Called Flintstone, Munster Go Home!, What’s Up Tiger Lily?

1967: To Sir, With Love – a sentimental favorite, and I had a little-girl crush on the girl that played Pamela (the one with the crush on Sir). Finalists: In the Heat of the Night, Cool Hand Luke, Valley of the Dolls (hilariously bad)

1968: Funny Girl – an amazing musical and acting performance for a very young Barbra. Finalists: The Odd Couple (remember how Jack Lemmon’s Felix did the allergy-throat “haaa! haaa!”? Priceless.)

1969: True Grit. I didn’t see Butch Cassidy, so that one didn’t win. Plus hearing “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” always makes me carsick.

1970: Little Big Man – “Come and lay on my soft furs!” I really liked MASH too, but Little Big Man is still one of my favorite movies to watch on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

1971: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – still one of my favorite movies and books. Just plain hilarious and well done. Finalists: Dirty Harry, Fiddler on the Roof (especially the bottle dance at the wedding and the Grandma dream sequence), and Man in the Wilderness. I didn’t see the universally recognized greats of this year, The French Connection and A Clockwork Orange.

1972: The Godfather – I’d never seen a movie like this one. Amazingly violent, moving, and terrifying. Finalists: Deliverance (talk about terrifying), Jeremiah Johnson (still a fave), What’s Up, Doc? (pure greatness).

1973: The Sting – This was the toughest year for me. I loved Paper Moon, High Plains Drifter, Badlands, Serpico, and Papillon, but The Sting had such great music.

1974: Where the Lilies Bloom – if you’ve never seen/heard of this one, GET IT. Finalists: The Godfather Part 2, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (“shit-kicking, shit-kicking, shit-kicking!”), Animals Are Beautiful People (a documentary), Young Frankenstein, Uptown Saturday Night.

1975: Jaws – an easy one, and yes—I’m still afraid to swim at the beach. But there were other greats that year: Barry Lyndon (some people find it boring, but I love it), Funny Lady, Love and Death (a GREAT Woody Allen movie), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (pure gold). I never saw all of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest or The Sunshine Boys, but I’m sure they’re great.

1976: Rocky – yo Adrian! Finalists: The Bad News Bears (sweet), Bugsy Malone,d Futureworld (scared the pee out of a young me), Midway, Murder by Death (a classic!), The Omen (see above re: pee).

1977: Star Wars – how could anyone anywhere in America disagree? This movie made me want to be Luke Skywalker, complete with utility belt and hot Princess Leia to kiss. Finalists: High Anxiety, Close Encounters of the Third Kind

1978: Alien – holy moly, was I terrified. Finalists: The Inlaws (“Serpentine, Sheldon, serpentine!”), Escape from Alcatraz, Heaven Can Wait, Kramer vs. Kramer, Breaking Away, My Brilliant Career, Superman, Being There. Many would pick Apocalypse Now but I’ve never seen it.

1979: Norma Rae – still an amazing performance by Sally Field. I also liked North Dallas Forty and Nosferatu the Vampyre (with an incredibly creepy Klaus Kinski).

1980: The Empire Strikes Back – what a sequel. Other faves: Gloria (“I’m the man! I’M the man!” and Gena Rowlands), The Gods Must Be Crazy, Nine to Five, Superman II, Flash Gordon (hilariously bad), and Private Benjamin (“I wanna wear my sandals! I wanna have lunch!”)

1981: Raiders of the Lost Ark – a great adventure movie. Of course, Excalibur was wonderful, as were Chariots of Fire, Mommie Dearest, and the classic Zorro the Gay Blade.

1982: Bladerunner – by now, my Harrison Ford love knew no bounds. I still had no clue about the whole “lesbian” thing. Tron was also a big fave, as I was a complete geek at this point in my life. I never got what was sooooo great about Fast Times at Ridgemont High, though I liked it. Night Shift was funny, until I realized how incredibly sexist-piggish it was.

1983: The Big Chill – this was my senior year in high school and an amazing year for movies. I could’ve picked any of these: Cross Creek, Flashdance, Entre Nous, Educating Rita, Trading Places, Mr. Mom, Yentl, Scarface, Valley Girl, The Year of Living Dangerously – all greats in my book, for various reasons.

1984: The Terminator – a true classic. I love how wimpy Linda Hamilton looks in this one, especially compared to the powerhouse hottie she’d become in the second movie. “I’m at the Tech Noir!” Finalists: Romancing the Stone, Amadeus, American Dreamer, Karate Kid (hee hee!), Dune, Purple Rain (one of the worst-acted movies ever, in every single role! That takes skill!), Sixteen Candles, A Passage to India, Beverly Hills Cop (one of my mom’s favorite movies).

1985: Murphy’s Romance – you’re probably saying, “huh?” This movie featured wonderfully understated and underrated performances by Sally Field and James Garner. Other good ones: Back to the Future, Fandango, Real Genius, Out of Africa, Witness, Mask, The Breakfast Club

1986: Aliens – again, a sequel that topped the original (just like with Empire Strikes Back, Terminator 2, Godfather II, and Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers). This movie was scarier and better than the original, with Sigourney Weaver really developing her uber-mother-badass-ness. Finalists: Hannah and Her Sisters (quite possibly Woody’s last funny movie), Heartbreak Ridge (underrated!), Ruthless People.

1987: Moonstruck – this movie gets better every time I see it. So many great lines and scenes! Finalists: The Princess Bride, Wall Street, Baby Boom

1988: Scrooged – Bill Murray at his best, up to that point. He would only get better later. Other great movies: Stand and Deliver, Dangerous Liaisons, Rainman.

1989: When Harry Met Sally – I used to call this my favorite movie. Now I don’t, but only because the Lord of the Rings trilogy just pretty much knocked everything else out. Finalists: Field of Dreams, Batman, The Little Mermaid (shut up! I like it!), Dead Calm, Roger and Me, Chances Are (shut up again! I love Cybill Sheppard!), Miss Firecracker (“Swoop! Swoop!”)

1990: Goodfellas – this movie got everything right. Finalists: Dances with Wolves, Dick Tracy, Pretty Woman (horrible but I still like it), Misery, Tremors (hilarious).

1991: The Silence of the Lambs – followed closely by Terminator 2. It was almost a tie, but Jody Foster’s hot. Other faves: The Commitments, JFK, Backdraft, New Jack City, Thelma and Louise (painful to watch), LA Story.

1992: Unforgiven – Clint, still making movie gold. Finalists: The Bodyguard (I just liked the music, okay?), A League of Their Own, Malcolm X, The Crying Game, Reservoir Dogs (amazing), White Men Can’t Jump (just funny escapism), Far and Away (Nicole Kidman at her hottest).

1993: Tombstone – Val Kilmer made this one with his portrayal of Doc Holliday. I never get tired of watching it. Finalists: Groundhog Day (another Murray classic), The Pelican Brief (I liked Julia Roberts back then), Sleepless in Seattle (I’m a sap, okay?), Jurassic Park (just for the dinos), Schindler’s List, Dave.

1994: The Shawshank Redemption. Did any other movies even get made this year? Who cares – this movie is pure greatness.

1995: Babe – this movie still makes me cry. Other favorites were The American President (I wish we could have a president like him!), Apollo 13.

1996: Fargo – easy. I also loved Long Kiss Goodnight with Geena Davis playing the tallest action heroine ever.

1997: Jackie Brown – pure perfection. Finalists: As Good as it Gets, Good Will Hunting, Contact (Jody = hawt), Donnie Brasco.

1998: Life Is Beautiful – a sweet sweet film. I also loved Rush Hour, Deep Impact (the OTHER asteroid movie, with a smokin’ hawt Tia Leoni), X-Files: Fight the Future (Scully = hawt). Notice how the pickin’s are getting slim? They just didn’t make many great movies in the late 90s, in my opinion. At least not that I saw.

1999: The Talented Mr. Ripley – Matt Damon’s best performance. Other big faves: Fight Club, The Sixth Sense, The Matrix (only because of the filming techniques, not Keanu’s “acting”).

2000: Cast Away – man, this movie makes me sad. I also liked Erin Brockovich and Unbreakable. Couldn’t find another movie made this year that I liked. Wow.

2001: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – is that tiny little Harry just the cutest little thing you’ve ever seen? Yes he is.

2002: Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – my favorite of the Ring trilogy, although Theodin makes me yell at the TV because he’s such a freakin’ wimp. The first Bourne movie, The Bourne Identity, was also great.

2003: Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – here’s how that conversation on the lava-covered mountainside of Mt Doom would’ve gone had it been me instead of Samwise with Frodo:
Frodo: “I’m glad you’re with me, Sam, here at the end of all things.”
Me: “Don’t worry, Frodo. I’m not gonna tell everyone about how you went all evil and tried to keep the ring. I won’t tell everyone how Gollum had to bite your freakin’ finger off just to get the ring. Just sayin’.”
This was a tough year, finally, after so many crappy years. Other finalists: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Keira Knightley = hawt), Bad Santa (effing hilarious), Calendar Girls, Finding Nemo, Kill Bill Vol 1, Lost in Translation, Monster, Under the Tuscan Sun (Diane Lane = hawt).

2004: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – probably my favorite Harry Potter movie to date, but another tough call with Kill Bill Vol 2, Fahrenheit 9/11, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and The Bourne Supremacy making it a great year.

2005: Pride and Prejudice – I love the book, I love the movie, I love Keira Knightley. Finalists: HP and the Goblet of Fire; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Crash; Capote; Transamerica; The Constant Gardener; Batman Begins; Good Night, and Good Luck; Syriana. Finally, Hollywood (and indie films) started getting it right again.

2006: Little Miss Sunshine – if you haven’t seen this one, please do so. Every single actor in this film was amazing. Other good ones: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, V for Vendetta, Inside Man, The Devil Wears Prada, Eight Below (shut up! It was sad and uplifting!), The Queen, The Good Shepherd.

2007: No Country for Old Men – easy call. Still, some good stuff this year too: Breach, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (I don’t know why I loved these movies; I just did!--probably just Keira), American Gangster, Zodiac, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (great casting, terrible adaption), Atonement (so sad!), The Bourne Ultimatum.

2008: The Dark Knight – not that great a year for movies, in my opinion. I mean, what are you gonna pick – Baby Mama? Sure it was funny, but do you remember anything besides the general hilariousness? Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull –holy crap, Harrison – give it up. You look like a corpse. Do you need money that badly? Just say no! Burn After Reading was okay, with a hilariously goofy performance by Brad Pitt of all people, but it wasn’t the Coen’s best work.

2009: I don’t even think I’ve seen a new movie this year. I’m waiting on the edge of my seat for the sixth Harry Potter movie, which I just KNOW is going to be effing GREATNESS.

I need to lie down... bring me some smelling salts.

Sometimes, I just start smiling, thinking about how grateful I am that we managed to elect Barack Obama instead of the old geezer and the Alaskan freakshow. I think, "Boy, Americans aren't so crazy and dumb after all!"

Then I wake up.

You wanna see some crazy? You wanna see some dumb? Just check out these Princess Sparkle Pony posts, featuring the unedited comments of everyday Americans. By the time you're done, I guarantee you'll feel like you've just gone 15 rounds with an in-his-prime Muhammad Ali.

Sarah Palin's toenails
White Supremacist killer in the Holocaust Museum
More on the Holocaust Museum killer

To think these people work, vote, operate heavy machinery, walk among us, etc. It's truly frightening.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Uh oh...

If Princess Sparkle Pony is right about "frowny sucked-in-lips face" being a bad sign, or as the Princess says, "associated with guilt, embarrassment, acknowledgment of stupidity, etc."--I think Obama's in trouble. This is what the front page at Talking Points Memo looks like:
Oy vey.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Cleansing duck post

Surrounded by activity, I am all still.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Some more thoughts and reactions--UPDATED

President Obama has declared June "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month." Pretty cool, eh? I can't imagine any other president doing this--even Bill Clinton wimped out all the time when it came to teh gay, so I'm glad Obama has recognized that he won't burst into flames if he says "gay" or "lesbian." That moment during his inaugural address when he said those words--that still gives me chills when I think about it.

You can read the full text of his proclamation here. I like this line: "I call upon the people of the United States to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists."

Are Americans ready "to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists" yet? Are we even ABLE to do this? Every time I think we're making progress, a Prop 8 or a "Sotomayor's a racist!" or something like that will happen, and I realize we're sooooooo far from embodying the vision of Dr. King when he talked about people being judged by the content of their character. And that makes me sad.

I think that maybe if more of us started turning this whole racial discussion around--talking about it whenever ANYONE is nominated for something, the way I did in this post from the other day--then MAYBE people will see how stupid the whole idea is. Imagine reading something like this:


Roberts nomination: Is it about ethnicity?
John Roberts could be the latest white man to serve on the Supreme Court. And as we learn more about him, the more questions centered on his ethnic background abound. Was he chosen partly because of his white origins? Does he consider race in his rulings? Are we focusing too much on his ethnicity and not enough on his judicial history?

Check out the original post for an explanation. I'd like your take on it. I think it kinda got buried by Iron Chef talk, though, so if you haven't read it, please do and comment either here or there.

- - - - -

If you don't listen to NPR (I listen for as long as I can stand it, then I always hear something that makes me hit another station's button), you haven't been listening to the amazingly stupid discussion about the Sotomayor nomination to the SCOTUS, and that one quote wherein she actually TOOK PRIDE in being a "wise Latina." God forbid! The nerve!

I read a great guest-post on Echidne's blog; the only way I can figure out how to link to it is to link to all the posts from that day (May 31, my mommy's birthday!). It's the second post down. A great great post, that one--all about the idiocy of isolating one sentence and pinning everything on it -- then turning that tactic around on the idiots who are doing it to try to derail Sotomayor's nomination.

Speaking of NPR, my GOD -- it gets worse every day. Be sure to check out NPR Check, linked in my sidebar, if you want to read about how bad it's gotten.

- - - - -

Just saw a link to a completely amazing story that is not getting adequate coverage in the MSM: actual clergy--baptists, even!--saying that they support equal marriage rights! h/t to Sue J for the link and for bringing the story to my attention. And no thanks to the many stupid media outlets that are ignoring/underreporting the story.

Gay marriage, as I've said before, isn't really my issue, but I abhor the idea of denying people the right to marry whomever they please. Discrimination is just wrong. So anyway, I was having a deep discussion this morning with my girlfriend, and the subject of living together came up -- as in, sometime in the future. We began to talk about my fears, based on past relationships, about how things just always seem to END, no matter how great things start out. It's disheartening, and it's enough to make me have said on many occasions that I'll never live with anyone again.

That said, I began to wonder whether marriage really would make a difference. Maybe the legally binding aspect of it would help when things get tough. Of course, straights are topping the 50% mark on divorces, but still--does marriage make a difference to two people who've vowed to stay together? You married folks out there--does it?

- - - - -

On a brighter note, we have baby ducks in our courtyard, and I don't mean the ducks that PoP regularly invokes. They're so cute and fuzzy, and their little markings are so striking. I'll try to get a photo, to cleanse our mental palates from all the shite that regularly flows in the political realm. We also have baby robins. I love spring!

Monday, June 01, 2009

My thoughts on the Tiller murder

Imagine you were sitting someplace in public, just having a lemonade in the park or listening to the preacher in church, when someone came up to you and killed you. For doing your job.

Dr. George Tiller was killed because he did his job--providing a particular medical service to women -- a perfectly legal medical service, I might add.

Some video from Iron Chef: MEXICAN!

Well, I might as well tell you the results: Matty edged out Anne Marie once again. It was pretty heart-breaking to watch, but that's how it went down. Matty was very gracious in victory, and AM was gracious in defeat -- and a good time was had by all.

NOTE: I realized that I downloaded all my event video from the presentation of the main dishes on through judging and the post-competition interviews onto Matty's laptop and deleted it from my camera... then couldn't copy it all back to upload here! (It was taking like a half hour to upload at Matty's.) So this video will be from the middle of the competition, and I'll have the closing interviews tomorrow most likely. They are compelling--"the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat!"

Both AM and Matty discussed their approach to the Mexican food theme:
video
And some things were better left un-"discussed" (I'm talkin' to you, Nommy).
video

More video tomorrow, I hope.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

New guests, and some informational clarity

We had an internets snafu, but we're back online--but the contest is over! Still, I'll keep the outcome a secret until the end of this post. Get ready for some serious video. By the way, live-blogging is a pain if you're doing photos or video, folks. I'm gonna load a few pics now, and I'll do the majority of the video tomorrow.

More arrivals--from left to right--Mikey, Brooke, and Joe, of local band Surgical Staff:

Here are a few stills from the big action:

Appetizers:
It was complete chaos the entire night, with over fifteen people in two small rooms. The food was good, but the competition was fierce!



I'll post video and stuff tomorrow--for now, it's after ten, I've had a margarita or two, and the competition wore me out!

And so it begins--Iron Chef: Mexican!


Here's the first meeting of our chefs.
















They shook hands, and then the trash-talking began:
video
Afterwards, everyone got here. Here's who's here:

Jazzy Jeff.


DJ Dorothy, the Disco Ultimatum.


Cinnamon Girl.

Domino, the official dog of Beginningtobird, my other bloggy.


and of course, Baby G and her friend Julie.

Stay tuned! The next update will be around 7, when the cooking begins!

Friday, May 29, 2009

FINAL! Iron Chef: MEXICAN!

Here's what happens when you get two self-described "foodie divas" doing something they call "brainstorming" -- which I call "being effing indecisive and making Delia crazy."

The email chain, after the "summer night" thing:

FOODIE DIVA #1:
how bout just something free form? iron chef "summer
night" we prepare an app, main course, and drink of our choice?

FOODIE DIVA #2:
hmm... delia, weigh in. the theme binds us together and
makes for heightened competition, i think. but this is a nice idea.

GUZMAN:
Both compelling arguments. However, I believe the theme makes
for a more level playing field. The judges are comparing apples to apples, or
fish to fish, or whatever the case may be.
On the other hand, an open-ended
"summer night" category allows each chef to fully unleash her/his creativity in
every aspect of the meal!
As such -- if you are both in agreement that such
a contest will provide for both a fair and compelling (we have our audience to
consider, after all!) competition, then I say YES.
If you agree to Iron Chef: SUMMER NIGHT -- please indicate. If not, come up with an alternative.

Despite my pretending to act like I cared about their opinion, I figured it was a done deal at this point. But I was wrong.

FD#1:
some more ideas:
iron chef appetizer: one hour to create 3 or 4
appetizers
iron chef mango: appetizer and dessert using the
ingredient
iron chef: burger. any kind, any style.

GUZMAN:
Now DECIDE on something already, Dr. ADD!

FD#2:
patience, delia!!!
i'll keep thinking/brainstorming. no rush! i like
appetizers and the burger idea, but dont want to exclude vegetarians.
pasta?

GUZMAN:
But I've already updated the blog post!
http://impeachmentandotherdreams.blogspot.com/2009/05/iron-chef.html
DAMMIT!

FD#1:
haha suck it up D. I had already created a facebook event for iron chef
mexican.
Foodie divas must be given creativity time:)
How bout this!
Iron chef burger. We have veggie burgers available
(morningstar grillers are very good) as well, but with the same toppings. We can
be graded on
--style (the type of burger - bbq, california,
etc)
--flavour
--presentation
or...we could be required to make two
burgers in the hour. One must be vegetarian.
same deal with the appetizers.
4 appetizers in an hour. 2 must be vegetarian.
I'm liking the
brainstorming!:)



Sweet jaysus. Watch Sunday and see what happens when I drink and emcee at the same time.

Okay, now I'm pissed.

You know my feelings about this whole SCOTUS/'happy hispanics' crap. I just read this completely insane article on the CNN website, and that was it. I couldn't help but write my own version for your consideration and comment.

NOTES:
Methodology: I've excerpted several passages from the original article; where I cut material, I've indicated with the word "--SNIP--". I've changed all instances of "Sotomayor" to "Roberts," "hispanic/Latina" to "white man," "he/him/his" to "she/her/hers," "Obama" to "Bush," "republicans" to "democrats," etc. To be sure that all changes are clear, I've bolded and changed the color of all the things I changed. No other changes have been made.

Desired result: Tell me in the comments whether such an article would EVER appear ANYWHERE but one of our blogs. Feel free to comment on any other aspect of this issue or this post.

Now -- the rest of this post is quoted directly (albeit as excerpts and the bolded modifications specified above) from the CNN article.

Roberts nomination: Is it about ethnicity?
John Roberts could be the latest white man to serve on the Supreme Court. And as we learn more about him, the more questions centered on his ethnic background abound. Was he chosen partly because of his white origins? Does he consider race in his rulings? Are we focusing too much on his ethnicity and not enough on his judicial history?
Roberts is, to say the least, a provocative pick on President Bush's part. Here are four of the questions commentators are asking -- and your answers.
What role did ethnicity play in Roberts' nomination?
Did Bush choose John Roberts partly because he’s a white man? Katy Brown thinks so.
"It's just another gimmick," said Brown, a college student from Charleston, West Virginia. "Just another opportunity to make something out of nothing: yet another white man [on the court]. ... Race is being played once again. So my question is, did he actually look at Roberts background; did he pick him because of the right reasons? Or did he just want to make another statement in America and base his decision on race?"
--SNIP--

What role will ethnicity play in his confirmation?
"I think it's important that we're making sure he is being judged on his record and not the other 'R' word: his race," said Omekongo Dibinga of Washington.
Dibinga is concerned that senators -- who must confirm Roberts before he can take the seat -- and the public will assume that Roberts' ethnic background will unfairly influence his decisions. "Let's not make him the immigration Supreme Court justice; let's not make him the next male Supreme Court justice," he said. "If we really want to talk about how he interprets the law even-handedly, then we should make sure that we are processing his nomination even-handedly."
Robert Stewart has a different perspective. He thinks Senate Republicans will hesitate to criticize Roberts for fear of being accused of racism or sexism, and he called Bush’s pick of Roberts "brilliant," partially because of the ethnicity and gender factors.
"Anyone who brings up either sex or race will set themselves up for being labeled sexist or racist, tarnishing their reputation," he wrote. "While sex/race/religion should not make a difference, we would be ignorant to not understand how this can be used by both sides, and with the Democrats in the minority in the Senate, this will certainly be brought up to discredit their opposition to Roberts.
"While it is often repeated and emphasized that his nomination is not based on sex/race, everyone knows that this is a card that will be played," he added.

Does Roberts consider race or ethnicity in his judicial decisions? Should he?
"Why, every time an [ethnic majority] comes into an office or a situation of making decisions for our country, do we get concerned about will they show favoritism?" Richard Gaskin asked. Political pundits and iReporters alike are highly divided on the validity of his question.
--SNIP--
...Joseph Condon of Richmond, Virginia, feels that Roberts "will not be wearing a blindfold when [he] makes rulings." He is concerned that Roberts would put his own beliefs and feelings above the Constitution and that perhaps his cultural background could unfairly influence his decisions. Condon had some strong words to describe his worries.
"If Roberts is confirmed, his personal experiences, conservative beliefs, and loyalty to blood and culture will be the basis for forming his judicial rulings, and not the United States Constitution," he wrote.

Are we focusing too much on his ethnic background rather than his judicial history and qualifications?
--SNIP--
...Gaskin -- who said that every time a white person comes into a position of power, the public unfairly worries about whether he or she will show racial favoritism -- thinks the conversation the country is having about Roberts’ ethnicity is the wrong one to be having.
"We can now have everyone getting equal chances, and I think that's what this should be all about," he said. "No matter what ethnicity you are, now we all have a chance to have equal rights. ... I hope [Roberts’ nomination] inspires people who come from situations of poverty or less hope to now have hope and change their lives."